I think the money for Ilkeston town centre, if used wisely, could do well. Primark would be great for the town, the nearest being Nottingham or Derby is nearly an hour away.
With Ilkeston being in the middle of the two, I think people would come from Long Eaton, Sandiacre and other neighbouring towns. Decorating shops would be good, painting vacant ones. Allow local artists and photographers to have their work put in the windows of vacant shops.
I think that a shuttle train wouldn’t be good, people will use it to get from the Market Place to Tesco, missing out the in between. At least now people walk down and see shops. Restoring buildings would be good but maybe too costly, it would look nice though. Maybe the council could do a deal with the JobCentre, where people can help with painting and cleaning up the town. As a single parent I have spare time when my son is it nursery (soon to be school) and I would love to help paint some shops and do some decorating, but as I am on income support I would lose my money. But if I was allowed to do it without sanctions, I think more people would want to. Dog mess needs clearing up, it makes the town look horrible.
Yes, they now have new laws, but they are not followed through. I went to the park the other day and a woman had a dog in the fenced off play area.
There also needs to be a decent outdoor play area.
They could make the small play area near Tesco into a decent one, with a small cafe, paddling pool for summer, better equipment. Another thing that could work is a kids’ indoor play centre, the nearest one is at the Ikea retail park. People moan about kids in pubs, like Wetherspoon, but we have nowhere to take our kids and get something to eat while they can play. I have always said, if I won the lottery I would open up a kids’ play centre, with a cafe attached, hire qualified staff to look after the kids while the adults can have something to eat. When you have a kid with you most of the time, it’s not easy to meet up with friends and have a drink (not necessarily alcohol) and relax and catch up.